I stumbled across the Thin Privilege Checklist today and practically fell over in glee. It's perfect, absolutely perfect, and it's based on the White Privilege Checklist by Peggy McIntosh, which is equally brilliant. I found several checklists of Able-Bodied Privilege here, here and here. However, I figured I'd have a go at it. Note that my checklist is written in the second person, as in "you" this, "you" that, because I am not able-bodied and feel that it would be a bit presumptuous for me to imply that I know what it is like to be Able and have Able privilege. If anything that I say in this checklist is misinformed or untrue, please feel free to contact me and we can discuss it. So.....without further ado, here is Spaz Girl's Able Privilege Checklist!
As an able-bodied person, every day:
As an able-bodied person, every day:
- You can get from point A to point B without worrying about how you are going to get there and how much energy each travel option will cost you.
- You can say "I'm tired." and not be criticized for "always being tired".
- You can get inside all buildings by the main entrance, and will never be forced to go around a sketchy back entrance or denied entrance to the building while others pour freely in and out of the main entrance.
- You can go and come as you please, without everyone and their mothers knowing the meticulous details of where you are going and what you are doing.
- You can blend into the crowd reasonably well and do not constantly feel like you have a neon sign over your head saying "different".
- You can draw, cut, and do an assortment of motor-skill related things without putting much thought into it, and your final product probably will not look a kindergartener did it.
- You can have privacy in the bathroom.
- You can do something ordinary or out of the ordinary without being called "brave", "courageous", "special" or "an inspiration".
- You can open a door without putting thought into how you are going to do it.
- You can go out in public and will not be accosted by a variety of tired, cheap car jokes scuh as "Do you have a license for that thing?"
- Parts of your body are usually not grabbed, touched, and pulled without your permission.
- Parts of your body (or extensions of your body) are not referred to as "that thing".
- You can easily step over bumps in the sidewalk, massive snow piles and other obstacles without having to have the concentration of a tightrope walker.
- You can eat without the concentration of a tightrope walker and most of the food will end up in your mouth.
- You can get your own food and carry it to your table without the concentration of a tightrope walker and will not be exhausted from the effort before even taking a single bite.
- You know that you are not considered "abnormal".
- Your mobility relies on the power of your legs, and your legs alone. As such, you will never be stranded somewhere because of a dead wheelchair/scooter battery.
- You can look into people's eyes without having to crane your neck upwards.
- You are not at the level of other people's butts.
- You can go for an interview or other professional experience without fear of being judged on your perceived ability.
- You can go out in public without being stared at and asked rude questions.
- You do not live in fear of being institutionalized.
- You are not told, directly or indirectly, that you are "too self sufficient".
- Other people do not try to speak for you and you speak for yourself.
- You are not made to feel, on a daily basis, by other people's attitudes, actions, and outside barriers, that you are not wanted and your opinion is not valued.
- You can open a magazine, watch a TV show, or look at a textbook and see many diverse people of your ability represented.
- You are not expected to be meek, passive, and perpetually grateful.
- You rarely have to accept help and charity from other people.
- It is not suggested, either implicitly or explicity, that you would be better off dead.
- You do not feel like part of a dying species.
- You can be pretty much positive that wherever you go, you will not be the only Able person.
- You are not made to feel like a bad, lazy person for not pushing yourself to exhaustion.
- In public, people talk to you, not the person you're with.
- You can be out in public with another Able person without causing a disturbance simply by the presence of two of you.
- People of your ability are usually in the majority.
- When you go to a movie theater or concert, you can sit in any seat you want.
Feel free to add more and/or ask questions if something is unclear!